"Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond

"Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond

Architecture is always evolving. The practice and business of architecture are undoubtedly evolving alongside the more obvious technological advances, but what we often forget is that there are no new ideas. When it comes to design, what we see manifested in our daily lives is the result of evolution. And at the root of that design evolution is inspiration.

A new initiative from Gianpiero Venturini and his firm Itinerant Office titled Past, Present, Future aims to open a research path based on the analysis of successful practices in the 21st Century while ultimately providing a new form of inspiration for the next generations of architects and designers. The documentary series begins with a select group of 11 international architects, including Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV, Mario Cucinella, and Simone Sfriso, co-founder of TAMassociati. Each architect is featured in three video interviews in which they reveal the methodology behind their designs, the themes and approaches within their architectural practice, and the predictions they have for architecture in the near and distant future.

Portraits of the Featured Eleven Illustrious Architects © Luca Chiaudano

In addition to the website, which launches today, this collection of interviews serves as an exhibition; it was displayed in Kyiv, Ukraine in April, and other iterations are currently being planned. Furthermore, the initiative is a continuous project, with a new set of interviews focusing on architects in Spain, Portugal and France being planned later this year.

As the curator of the project, Venturini says that the selection of the first 11 firms and architects "represents the first step of a project based on an Italian/Dutch collaboration. I have involved some of the most interesting names of the two countries, choosing them with regards to their working method and their approach to the profession, as well as the overall organization of the practice." He also revealed that the main initiative for the project is not to focus on the respective design approaches, but rather focus more on the person behind the iconic designs. "There is a kind of barrier that separates those that, in recent years, we have defined as 'star architects'—and all the others. They are just people, who are doing really well in their jobs. Through the analysis of the person and their career, we can better understand the approach that characterizes each of these practices."

Tianjin Binhai Library / MVRDV + Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute. Image © Osip van Duivenbode

The first focus of this project is the Past. The theme for these videos is the unique conditions and circumstances that led to not just the success of each architect involved, but what led them to choose to study and practice architecture in the first place. This group of interviews includes a revealing account of each architect's life leading up to the creation of their firm through personal anecdotes.

Jacob van Rijs of MVRDV. Screenshot via Past, Present, Future

The second group of videos focuses on the Present for each. In these videos, the architects spend some time introducing the unique characteristics of each studio, revealing common threads in how they work and grow over time. Many of the interviewees elaborate on current projects and fields of research for their respective firms, providing a useful overview of each firm and a glimpse into what exactly makes them successful.

Courtesy of UNStudio

The final group of videos, of course, focuses on the Future. Rather than talk about the overall course for architecture in the future, the architects discuss what they see as the relevant topics of today and tomorrow. Each architect presents a selection of key concepts that represent their own specific approach while anticipating future trends to help understand architecture in the future. Each interview closes with a piece of advice from the interviewee, addressing the next generation of architects and designers.

Caroline Bos of UNStudio Screenshot via Past, Present, Future

Ultimately, there is no design without inspiration. Where do you find yours? Past, Present, Future provides exactly that. Directly from the mouths of some of the most successful architects in Europe, this documentary series serves as a database of useful thoughts on design intended to push the next generations of architects and designers forward in pursuit of the architecture of tomorrow.

Salam Cardiac Surgery Center / Studio TAMassociati. Image © AKAA / Raul Pantaleo

Here is the complete list of architects you can see in Past, Present, Future:

B30 / KAAN Architecten. Image © Karin Borghouts

You can see all the interviews in the Past, Present, Future project at the official website here.

News via: Itinerant Office

About this author
Cite: Collin Abdallah. ""Past, Present, Future": Leading Dutch and Italian Designers on Being an Architect Yesterday, Today, and Beyond" 13 Jun 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/896279/past-present-future-leading-dutch-and-italian-designers-on-being-an-architect-yesterday-today-and-beyond> ISSN 0719-8884

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